Sunday, 29 January, 2023

‘BPL, T20 leagues will help us grow as players’

‘BPL, T20 leagues will help us grow as players’

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Dutch trio - Colin Ackermann, Max O’Dowd and Paul van Meekeren - feel that playing in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League, the country’s lone franchise-based T20 tournament, is helping them grow.

O’Dowd is playing for Chattogram Challengers while Ackermann and Meekeren are featuring for Sylhet Strikers and Khulna Tigers respectively in the ongoing ninth edition of the BPL.

The ICC’s decision of scrapping the ODI Super League, the platform Netherlands cricketers were eyeing to capitalise on for proving their worth against the accomplished cricketing nation, came as a big blow for them but now they have shifted their focus on the franchise-based T20 tournaments in order to learn the trade by playing against the seasoned campaigners of the shortest format.

“I suppose the way I can grow as a cricketer obviously is getting exposed to different conditions and different bowling. So you need to think on your feet and adjust to the condition,” Ackermann told The Daily Sun.

“Best players in the world are able to adapt their game to any condition that is effective and can find a way to have a massive impact on the game. So I suppose that the biggest learning curve for me so far has been the changed condition between day and night like in the day the ball can turn a bit more and at night it tends to skid.

“So I suppose picking up what is needed in this condition,” said Ackerman, who made 62 and an unbeaten 41 runs against Bangladesh and South Africa respectively in the last ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

O’Dowd, Netherlands’ leading T20 runs scorer, echoed the same sentiment but insisted that if they can showcase a performance like they did in the last World Cup where they had an impressive outing that included beating higher-ranked South Africa, they can expect to be picked by franchises for different T20 tournaments.

While the trio is playing in the BPL, their compatriots Bas de Leede, Brandon Glover and Fred Klaassen were also picked in the ILT20 in UAE by different franchises.

“Because of the performances we put in place (during the last year’s T20 World Cup), guys can now play more franchise cricket and get more opportunities in the big stage,” he said, adding that playing in the BPL will certainly help him grow as a cricketer.

“Obviously playing and getting picked for Chattogram has been an amazing experience so far and the passion that Bangladeshi fans have is something that I don’t see very often and it’s amazing to be a part of Chattogram,” he said.

“I think playing in situations and conditions in Bangladesh will help me grow massively as a cricketer. Playing against some of the best players in the world in different conditions is how you can improve and is something that I can’t wait to keep doing. Hopefully, I will get many more opportunities going forward,” he added.

Pacer Meekeren insisted that he is happy to get some competitive matches under his belt while this experience will help them do well in the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled in USA and West Indies in 2024.

“It is certainly encouraging to get some match time (in BPL) considering it is wet and cold in the Netherlands,” said Paul.

“The new conditions and rubbing shoulders with some of the best T20 players around the world will definitely help the development of the players and these experiences will strengthen the national team.

“Hopefully, it will show during the ICC T20 World Cup in 2024 (even though it’s still very far away),” he said.